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The Wisest Prayer
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Photo: Emily Fletcher
As a teenager attending a Christian high school, I recall my friends and I feverishly claiming James 1:5 on test days. “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” I now admit that, while well meaning and never irreverent, we possibly took that verse slightly out of context. Somehow, I don’t believe that God exactly guarantees us wisdom to pass tests—especially if we fail to study adequately! Yet, GPA aside, God absolutely promises us wisdom and desires nothing more than to grant our sincere requests for it.

Spiritual wisdom, discernment, understanding, the ability to distinguish right from wrong; this is the wisdom God granted King Solomon, and this is the wisdom God generously promises us as well.

One night God appeared to King Solomon in a dream and asked what he would like to receive. Without hesitation, Solomon asked for a “discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong.” Pleased that Solomon chose wisdom over other more selfish requests, God granted Solomon a “wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be.” God also promised Solomon riches and honor even though he did not ask for them. (I Kings 3:5-15).

Delights to Please God

King Solomon’s later writings in the book of Proverbs clearly express his value of Godly wisdom and his urgent recommendation for us to seek after it as well. At the very beginning of Proverbs, Solomon says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7). By that he means that reverence and obedience, flowing from a love that delights to please God is the first step toward knowledge. He encourages us to search for wisdom and understanding as one might search for hidden treasure (2:2-5). They are more profitable than silver and gold, and we should consider ourselves blessed to possess these Godly treasures (3:13-14).

I’ve decided to start claiming the promise of James 1:5 again. I don’t expect my I.Q. to miraculously skyrocket, but I do look forward to greater understanding of all things eternal.

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By Hannah Henry. Copyright © 2007 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture take from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.


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